Many people are putting Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) planks on their floor to simulate the look of real hardwood floors. Over the last several years, homeowner wanting more durability in their hard flooring surfaces turned to laminate wood floors for realism, affordability and style. Both have their strengths, and one has a secret.

LVT is made of plastic with an image of wood on the surface. The primary components of vinyl floor coverings include polyvinyl chloride (or vinyl) resins, plasticizers (high molecular-weight solvents), pigments and trace stabilizers, and a carrier sheet or backing. According to www.whatisvinyl.com, polyvinyl chloride is made from ethylene, which comes from crude oil. That’s the secret LVT is keeping from you: it is plastic made from crude oil. Being plastic, LVT works well when wood is not really an option, like where there are frequent water spills or where mopping is required daily, like in a medical clinic. If you have frequent spills on your floor or need serious mopping on a regular basis, LVT is better than laminate flooring.

Laminate wood floors are made from real wood timber, mostly pine, and has a protective layer over an image of a plank on the top. Being made of wood gives laminate flooring a more realistic hardwood feel, look and sound compared to LVT. Plus laminate wood flooring is made of, well, wood and not crude oil, which is the main ingredient in LVT. Laminate floors are great for those who care about the health of our planet since wood is a sustainably managed resource and crude oil is not renewable. And while laminate is not great for mops to be on, it’s great for kids and pets to be on.

If you are a spiller or require daily mopping, LVT is better for you. If you think what goes into your floor should affect what goes on your floor, like kids and pets, laminate wood floors is better than LVT.